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Historical Fiction Defines a Year’s End: December 2020 Celebrity Book Club Picks

Historical Fiction Defines a Year’s End: December 2020 Celebrity Book Club Picks

Some of the year’s hottest books are being read by the most active celebrity-led book clubs. See if you’re interested in any of the selections and follow along with the conversations on social media.

AMERIE’S BOOK CLUB

Memorial by Bryan Washington

Singer Amerie’s book club chose the novel by the rising Black author that features a Japanese American chef living in Houston with his Black day care teacher roommate who suddenly has to travel halfway around the world to Osaka to care for his father.

The publisher is Penguin Random House imprint Riverhead Books.

“And on that note, maybe the relationship isn’t coasting at all, but is instead weighted by the obfuscations of both men in their attempts to hide major familial heartache,” Amerie wrote on the book club’s Instagram profile. “In scenes full of raw energy, earnestness, and food—yes, lots and lots of glorious food—Bryan Washington explores the bridges we burn, protect, and attempt to rebuild.”

BELLETRIST BOOK CLUB

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

The book club helmed by actress Emma Roberts and producer Karah Preiss chose The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue as its featured book. The novel is set in 1714 France as a young woman makes a bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. The character’s life plays out across centuries and continents as a forgettable figure until 300 years later she meets a man who remembers her name.

The publisher is Macmillan Publishers’ imprint Tor Books.

For the Why Not YA with Epic Reads selection, the book club picked the 2016 novel Tiny Pretty Things. The book will come alive onscreen via Netflix on Dec. 14 as HarperCollins Publishers’ imprint HarperTeen says the story is filled with “gossip, lies, and scandal.”

The book club’s indie bookstore for December is The Open Door in Schenectady, New York.

GMA BOOK CLUB

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

The Good Morning America book club selected the contemporary romance that follows a woman on the verge of thirty who believes she’s unlucky because of the man who edged her out of being the first baby born in London in 1990.

“If you love heartwarming rom-coms in the style of Richard Curtis, I think you’re going to enjoy this one,” the author told the show. “This is a love story, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about friendship and family, fate and fortune.”

The publisher is Penguin Random House’s imprint G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

GOOP BOOK CLUB

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle outlet is ending its official book club’s first year with a novel centering on a former Ethiopian female soldier in 1974 who travels back to the past to Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia.

The publisher is W. W. Norton & Company.

KAIA GERBER’S BOOK CLUB

The purely Instagram book club started by supermodel Kaia Gerber is on hiatus until 2021.

NONAME BOOK CLUB

The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther by Jeffrey Haas

1919 by Eve L. Ewing

Indie rapper Noname’s book club picked the first selection by attorney Jeff Haas who interviewed Fred Hampton’s fiancée after the Black Panther leader’s murder in Chicago and pursued the assassins in search for justice.

The publisher is Chicago Review Press.

The second selection, also set in Chicago, focuses on the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, the most intense of the riots known as the “Red Summer” of violence across the U.S. and shaped the rest of the century though it’s fallen through the cracks of history.

The publisher is Haymarket Books.

OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB

Though an official book selection has not been announced since Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, media empress Oprah Winfrey is promoting her latest TV venture with the HBO film rendition of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ best-selling and award-winning narrative, Between the World and Me.

READ WITH JENNA – TODAY SHOW BOOK CLUB

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

In the spirit of rereading classics, Today Show correspondent and former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager is ending the year with Toni Morrison’s 1970 debut novel.

“I suspect that a lot of our book club members will be rereading this book for the first time since high school or college,” she said in the book club’s Instagram post. “I know I am particularly excited to pick up my old favorite again. I expect that it will hit me differently than it did when I was an adolescent girl, not much older than Pecola.”

The publisher is Penguin Random House under its Vintage International Series.

REESE’S BOOK CLUB

The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell’Antonia

The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron

Actress and producer Reese Witherspoon’s book club chose the women’s fiction novel about two sisters vying on a TV food competition show to boost each of their fried chicken restaurants, especially after one sister married into another fried chicken restaurant empire.

The publisher is Penguin Random House imprint G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

For its fifth young adult read, the book club picked The Light in Hidden Places, a novel based on the true story of a Polish teen who hid 13 Jews in her home’s attic during World War II.
The publisher is Scholastic Press.

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